U.S. Rep. Kagen Declares Health Care As 'number One' Fiscal Issue

This story was written by Charles Brace, The Daily Cardinal
U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Wis., focused on health care in a speech at the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health Friday.

He also spoke at a fundraiser Friday evening that was sponsored by Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

Kagen said students should realize that access to health care is currently "the number one fiscal issue."

Kagen recently introduced the No Discrimination in Health Insurance Act, which would mandate insurance companies to cover residents regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.

UW-Madison College Democrats Chair Oliver Kiefer said he felt health care is one of the issues that most directly affects students, even they sometimes feel it does not concern them. He said the majority of uninsured in the country are between the ages of 24-30 years old.

Kagen said health care, along with issues like retaining jobs in the state and the war in Iraq, were the most important issues facing the country.

The war in Iraq, according to Kagen, is a "religious civil war" that is a drain on the national economy and does not make the country safer.

In 2006, Kagen won the eighth Congressional district in a campaign against former Assembly Speaker John Gard. It was his first term as a U.S. Representative, having been a doctor in Appleton.

The race between Kagen and Gard was consistently rated as one of the country's most competetive, and Gard is running again this year.

Kagen is a UW-Madison alumnus.
© 2008 The Daily Cardinal via U-WIRE